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Educational and Community Outreach

Science Project Ideas for Students 

Galaxy Zoo recruits volunteers to classify galaxies according to their shapes. This helps scientists to understand how the galaxies were formed. 

On NASA's Citizen Science site you can help NASA scientists with various space and earth science projects. Some are for individuals, some are for groups. Many don't require special equipment or expertise, but some do. Volunteers can help discover planets using NASA's TESS mission, assess the health of coral reefs, make environmental observations through Globe Observer, help detect comets, and more.

Edge of Space Sciences (EOSS) is a Denver-based non profit that launches high altitude balloon experiments on behalf of universities, colleges, high schools and middle schools.  The EOSS charter is to “Promote science and education through high altitude balloons and amateur radio.” 

Read about a Solar Eclipse Balloon Photography Project in the LAS Newsletter of September, 2018, page 11.

The Astronomical League has a variety of Observing and Citizen Science programs (see Astronomy Resources page for more).

Here is an article on the Astronomical League's Citizen Scientist program from our May, 2020 newsletter, page 4.

Watch a scientist in the United Kingdom use a relatively new type of photography to capture the sun's changing path from solstice to solstice.

Exoplanet Watch asks amateur astronomers and astronomy students to make observations of transiting exoplanets. 

‘I always think of space-time as being the real substance of space, and the galaxies and the stars just like the foam on the ocean.’

-George Smoot: Astrophysicist, Nobel Laureate, Smarter than a 5th grader. (He was a winning contestant on 'Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?')

Websites for Students and Educators

Mars has been flown by, orbited, smacked into, radar-examined, and rocketed onto, as well as bounced upon, rolled over, shoveled, drilled into, baked, and even blasted.

Still to come:

Mars being stepped on.

                -Buzz Aldrin

The Planetary Science Institute offers a guide to impact craters (disponible en Espanol tambien), short summaries on special topics in planetary science, ideas for ways to partake in citizen science, and links to other educational sites.

NASA for Kids Games, crafts, activities, ideas for virtual learning and more

The NASA website is a good place to follow the dozen or so space missions, engage in STEM education, learn about the benefits of space science to us all, and more.

Ready to Observe? This is part of NASA's Night Sky Network, and can be useful for teachers and anyone new to stargazing. 

NASA also offers Apps, Podcasts, E-Books, Audio, Ringtones and more on its Downloads page.

STEM in 30 from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is an Emmy-nominated program for middle school students. Tune in every month for new episodes followed by a live chat, or watch their existing episodes.

    National Center for Interactive Learning is a great resource for educators, librarians, curators, etc.  

    Indigenous peoples' traditionsThe radio show Science Friday presented Relearning the Star Stories of Indigenous Peoples (Be sure to check out the related item on STEM education among first nations.) 

    Native Skywatchers has been leading Indigenous astronomy revitalization efforts for over 14 years. Their educational workshops and projects combine Indigenous and Western knowledge.

    Crash Course AstronomyEngaging, fast paced introduction to astronomy series on YouTube

    Our Astronomy Resources page has lots of other ideas for observing clubs, astronomy education, observing tips, and science projects.

    The International Dark-Sky Association has materials for educators.

    Members of the Longmont Astronomical Society provide equipment and support for local schools, city and county recreation departments, Boy and Girl Scout groups, the U.S. Forest Service, and other organizations each year. This outreach comes in several forms:

      • LAS regularly scheduled star parties
      • Star parties specially requested by a group
      • Daytime star parties (for viewing the daytime moon, or for using telescopes with filters for safe viewing of sunspots, solar flares, prominences, etc.)
      • Depending on availability, an LAS member may be able to visit a class or group to discuss a project they're working on
      • Some members may be able to meet with teachers to help design an astronomy class
      • Our monthly meetings are open to the public. See our events calendar or home page for information on featured guest speakers.
      • The LAS has donated telescope kits to public libraries. All you need is a library card and a clear night. 

    If your group is interested in having LAS members provide equipment and support for your event, please check our Events Calendar and then contact our Coordinator with your request.

    Photo: Comet Neowise, by David Elmore

    Copyright Longmont Astronomical Society, 2023. All rights reserved.
    The Longmont Astronomical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P. O. Box 806, Longmont, CO 80502-0806, USA

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